Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Mirpur

Mushfiqur defends bowling tactics

Mohammad Isam

February 17, 2014

Comments: 33 | Text size: A | A

Shakib Al Hasan picked up a couple of quick wickets, Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 1st T20, Chittagong, February 12, 2014
Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh's best bowler, was not introduced into the attack for a long while though Thisara Perera was hitting out © AFP
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Shakib Al Hasan was taken out of the attack when Sri Lanka were 63 for 6 after 18 overs. Shakib had bowled four tight overs, but was not brought back till the 34th, by when Thisara Perera's counterattack had lifted Sri Lanka to 143 for 8. The decision to keep Shakib out of the attack for so long will be considered a captaincy blunder, but the idea that a left-arm orthodox spinner cannot be used against a left-hand batsman is something that has persisted with successive Bangladesh team managements.

It has never rewarded them properly, and reflects how quickly they sink to a defensive mindset. The theory was often heard when Jamie Siddons was coach, and Mohammad Ashraful and Shakib were captains. Perhaps the theory will not be put to rest anytime soon, but this incident should serve as a warning.

Though Thisara was at the crease, Sri Lanka were tottering on 67 for 8, ready to be finished off. Thisara had nothing to lose from that position, and ball after ball, he was fed deliveries on his legs. He swung, got fours and sixes, had catches dropped, and Sri Lanka turned the game even from a seemingly hopeless position.

"There was killer instinct," Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim said. "If the catches would have been taken, they could have been bowled out within hundred. If you have noticed, Perera was taking chances when he was hitting Sunny bhai. Our plan was to use away-going deliveries, so that he edged something. We didn't want Perera to play according to his strengths. The plan was fine, unfortunately, we couldn't hold on to the catches."

If Mushfiqur rates Shakib as his best bowler, which he does, then the best bowler is supposed to be good enough to get the hitter out even if he is left-handed. If the plan was to give Perera away-going deliveries, then Mahmudullah's slow, timid off-spin is never going to dent the attacking batsman's confidence.

If a right-handed hitter was going for sixes in such a situation, Mushfiqur would almost certainly have used Shakib and Arafat Sunny even if they were bowling poorly and Sohag Gazi and Mahmudullah bowling well. That is how Mushfiqur, and many of his predecessors, have long used spinners.

There were chances created, for sure, like when Sohag Gazi and Nasir Hossain dropped simple chances at long-on, and Shakib off Al-Amin Hossain at long-off. Mahmudullah also dropped Sachithra Senanayake at slip, and so did Shakib after diving to take a top-edge at midwicket.

"I don't know when Bangladesh lost like this before. It is really disappointing. We dropped a few catches and by generally good fielders. It put us on the back-foot."

Mushfiqur also lamented the lack of partnerships as Bangladesh slipped from 114 for 2 to 167 all out. But he said Sri Lanka set fields which made it difficult to find singles and doubles.

"Score like 180 was not difficult, it wasn't swinging or spinning. There was a bit of moisture that's all. Their field placement was all inside, so one had to play a few shots. Our plan was fine but two silly run-outs put us on the back-foot.

"Partnerships are needed in such low-scoring games, one of the set batsman should have played at least an 80-run innings, then it would have been easier."

Till now, Bangladesh have lost two Twenty20s off the last ball and threw away two golden opportunities in one match. They had the visitors on 67 for 8 and were themselves requiring less than three runs an over, with eight wickets in hand. They have pushed Sri Lanka close, but the time has come now to complete the job.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by QTS_ on (February 19, 2014, 3:10 GMT)

@Lakmalja: in the match referred (Champions Trophy final of 2004), Gough was indeed poor. Video is available on Youtube. Of course, he was among the best in England in the 1990's.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 21:58 GMT)

As much as I dislike complaining after a loss; I just can't take Mushfiq defending an obvious wrong decision, of not employing Shakib much earlier! Even if he thinks that Shakib is not good enough to bowl to Perrera (which in itself is baffling), how could he forget that it takes two batsmen to play and in this case no.10 Senanayeke ( who is not a left-hander)was partnering Perrera. If Bangladesh could got rid of Senanayeke ( and Malinga) Perrera would have remain stranded ( what actually happened when he brought Shakib back!) You should have gone for the kill when your opponent was on the floor; and the best way to do that is using your best bowler! The final score of 180 was still very much gettable is a different story altogether. However, this is not the end of the world, pull up your socks; you could still win this series (yes, I sincerely believe this); but before that do some soul searching and don't be afraid to accept any wrongdoing.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 20:42 GMT)

I think only advise should be given to Mushy is "to stay at home and do not talk to media". After putting up horrible display of cricket there is nothing to defend. Another advise should be given to this guy, do not play ODI like a Test cricket. Rotating a strike is the key to success in a ODI.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 14:06 GMT)

This is horrible tactic! why left hander can't ball against left hander- if that's the case then he should consider himself as bowler. Regardless just left/right - they need to bowl right place if they are good. this is awful thinking. you may need to look how many left handers were out by wasim or how many right handers were out by shame warne/murali. Of course you need to use your premium bowler regardless who is in the bat.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 11:43 GMT)

It is very pathetic!!! not the Bangladesh cricket! the critiques... these kind of matches and results are full of ODI history. Why does everybody so much blaming Bangladeshi players? They are very talented bunch of Cricketers. They will be bounced back when luck favours them. I am sure. But I wish they could not do it in this ODI series because I am a serious Sri Lankan Fan 

Posted by British_North_America on (February 18, 2014, 8:45 GMT)

When Bangladesh lost like this? Bangladesh lost the third ODI vs Pakistan in home tour in 2011 chasing 170+, there was also a floodlight failure.By the way, it is true that Perera is a left hander but what about Senanayeke? Is he a left hander too?

Posted by i_golam on (February 18, 2014, 8:42 GMT)

Yesterday I told my wife that ... it was the last time for me and I am not gonna watch any more BD cricket ! I know that I never can hold on to that .... but disappointment struck through me ! We still singing the "losers song" ... we shall overcome "... after yesterdays suffering I belive we have to sing this song for a very long time and maybe even to the end ! Poor cricket !! Poor Bangladesh !!!

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 8:06 GMT)

See the temperament: players->67 for 8 to 180!! and then 114 for 2 to 167!!! Umpire->third umpire Anisur Rahman took more than five minutes to decide benefit of doubt against batsman... Players needs training from schoolboys how to catch or run between the wicket and Umpire needs training from schoolboys about cricketing rules

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 6:44 GMT)

Nasir! what happened with you... are you lost . soon you might be in the book of Bangladesh cricket history. I was following you closely. You are not in your previous form in the last couple of series. you should concentrate and work hard more on your cricket and performance, International cricket is not a easy cake. here stating might be easy for promising players but sustaining long in your position is very very difficult. Soon opponent teams will find your weakness. long list of promising player just lost in the time of world cricket. Mr finisher is becoming a finished product.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 6:18 GMT)

The body language of Mahmudullah and Gazi was pathetic. Gazi can get another chance but Mahmudullah failed to deliver every department of the game. I will not suggest change and shuffle the team in each matches. Only change is needed when it is must. I am really surprised when i see Mashrafee was out! he is our main strike bowler and champion player! why they rest him , is it worthy, to give rest your influential player. if they play three pacers or someone like Rubel is injured then Al amin could get a chance. Tamim another influential player was out due to injury! always staring is very important and Tamim always give us that and there is controversy regarding Tamim captaincy which was definitely a bad effect over his form. Nayeem should get his chance regarding his last couple of one days. It looks chief selector was just messed up with T20, Oneday and Test squad. Always balanced and motivated team wins in the field.

Posted by akashhaque on (February 18, 2014, 6:08 GMT)

I really feel so bad after the 1st ODI, it is unfair for players like Sakib,Nasir,Mushfiq,Mahmudullah,Sohag Gai to play so carelessly.We pay them through taxes ,the whole nation expects that they will try little bit to pay back. Anyway, if anybody wants to learn how to lose a winning game , better learn from them.nothing else to say.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 6:00 GMT)

@Ajanthan Shantiratnam: Yes, Michael Clarke after loosing 4-0 in India and then the Ashes in England 3- 0 chose to resign, isn't it. The same goes for our very own Misbah- Ul-Haq, but of course he is Pakistani and Asian. What about Alstair Cook mate? Get your facts right before spilling the beans.

Posted by scarrule on (February 18, 2014, 5:34 GMT)

as an asian, i'm rlly worried about our sub-continent teams. Seems like they all have lost the hunger for being no.1. And request to all sub-continent fans please stop de-grading fellow sub-cntinnt team performance by saying FTB. Pace friendly pitches are not only sporting pitches we also prepare turners bt overseas players being spin chickens use this term to hide their weakness. Its fans like us degrading other teams by flat pitches nd all tht why... Even asia cup don't have any credibility outside asia.

Posted by goldeneye075 on (February 18, 2014, 5:19 GMT)

This is a very poorly written article, if you read the comments by @Fogu & @QTS_ it would be apparent. Arm-Chair-critics does anybody know who are they? Lol , Please don't blame the captain he did the best he can, some times things go in your favour some time it does not. Sri Lanka was at the same time in 1993-1994 , where they fought very close encounters with the likes of WI ( Lara, Walsh , Ambrose ) , sri lanka lost but they were really close matchers!!! which made the sri lankan out fit which won the 1996 World cup. So let Musi & co get experience down the years they will use this experience to become a better team.. a wining team. So do not pull them by their legs at this point.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 4:24 GMT)

Everyone is talking about feild placings and bowling. But you cannot restrict a team like SL within 200 everyday. Bowlers did good job this tour so far. They restricted SL in two T20s and yesterday. But it's thebatting that has been pathetic so far. We failed with the bat in T20s and now yesterday. How can a team lose 8 wickets in 50 odd runs chasing only 181? Bangladesh batsmen showed they lack temperment, unity and seriousness. They must lift their game otherwise a disasterous season is ahead of them. We, the fans are crying for it.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 4:09 GMT)

Well played Bangladesh respect from Pakistan you are a team to beat and i wonder what will happen to india if they tour Bangladesh because last time India played against Bangladesh in Bangladesh in Asia Cup Bangladesh won that match.

Posted by Lakmalja on (February 18, 2014, 3:57 GMT)

who calls Darren Gough is a lesser bowler..He was one of the best at that era...

Posted by KFRITZ on (February 18, 2014, 3:55 GMT)

Mushi often compares himself to Dhoni. Maybe he should have a word with Dhoni to find out how to dominate SL. In the last 15 games , india beat srilanka in 11 games and lost just three..

Posted by wapuser on (February 18, 2014, 3:42 GMT)

You drop the catch, you lose the match. Bangladesh dropped four catches by for different players!!! so Sri Lanka deserves this win not Bangladesh.

Posted by ruwnish on (February 18, 2014, 3:01 GMT)

All these comments focus on Bangladesh's failure to win the match due to their mistakes. How about Sri Lanka's fighting spirit? Sri Lanka has shown this in several times including two occasions in the current series prior to yesterday's match. Bangladesh would have learned a thing or two from this. They seemed relaxed as if they were about to hit the winning run, this lame attitude let themselves up. They should have studied Sri Lankans better. Look at the depth of their batting, all 11 players can bat. And look at the experience they got and they will fire all the guns until the last minute. Bangladesh should have had a plan to counter all of these.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 2:01 GMT)

Mushy is all talk. He has to learn to walk the walk. Sri lanka is one of the world's top sides. They deserve more respect. Mushy said we can beat anyone and then he goes for a stupid scoop when the team needed him to stay at the crease. How dumb can one be? This is the Captain who didn't know when to use his most effective bowler. He couldn't understand that 1s and 2s would have taken us over the line. Wish he had remained injured and not rushed back into the team. Who needs him anyways?

Posted by KingOwl on (February 18, 2014, 1:44 GMT)

Dropped catches, run outs, poor bowling changes, lack of partnerships, etc, etc.: They all sound like poor excuses. Giving excuses is not the way to turn things around. Granted, the winning margins have been small. But the fact is that the matches are being played in Bangladesh's favorite home conditions. There have been 5 matches so far in the series and SL have won four, and would have won the fifth had there been time. So, it is time to stop giving excuses.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 1:06 GMT)

Why two debutant in the same match? Mashi tried to be a hero for himself rather than playing for the team. he was the last recognized batsman but he went to scoop that????? he should have waited for the lose delivery as one would have come in 6 balls. poor Mushi and poor captaincy

Posted by Baundele on (February 18, 2014, 0:21 GMT)

I am surprised that he is even trying to defend this unacceptable loss. Bangladesh is no longer a 'developing' team; it has been long enough at the top level not to play this type of unprofessional and ridiculous cricket. Little things make big differences at the end.

Posted by Manowara on (February 18, 2014, 0:20 GMT)

Congratulations SL. You have risen to top from no where. This is the game of cricket. Please do not blame captaincy of BD. Nobody will talk of the tactic used if that worked your way. No excuses for the drop catches. BD is a very exciting team when it come to limited overs arena. Remember they have defeated the so called world giants during last world cup

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 22:52 GMT)

You saw the true SL LIONs beating the lame BD Tigers on all forms of the game. Over confidence made BD loose the matches.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 21:49 GMT)

First Tamim (when he was the stand-in Captain) and now Mr. Mushfiqur (who knows it all, like Dhoni) always insist on keeping Sakib out of the attack. Publicly they will say he is the "best" but in realty they always keep him from bowling. One wonders if this is out of jealousy. Sakib is the world's Number 1 or 2 all-rounder, something no other Bangladeshi has approached even by a mile. Tamim is a legend in his own mind - hasn't had a decent score in ages. Mushy tries a needless scoop at a time when victory needed only taking 1s and 2s and he still let his team down. If this is the kind of team spirit that exists, if this is how they treat their only real star, there can then be little hope for this team. Today's defeat was the worst kind for any team. Holding Sakib back is like holding Steyn back from the attack; or Ajmal in the case of Pakistan. Even KKR uses Sakib upto the very limits. But then Mr. Mushfiqur surely knows better than anyone else.

Posted by QTS_ on (February 17, 2014, 20:43 GMT)

The last time SL won an ODI on BD soil was in 2009, after being reduced to 6 for 5. Deja vu.

Posted by QTS_ on (February 17, 2014, 20:42 GMT)

Anybody looking for justification can think of the ENG-WI Champions Trophy Final of 2004. Chasing about 210, WI were 8 for about 130, when captain Vaughan decided to go for the kill by bowling his best bowlers Flintoff and Harmison. The WI batsmen negotiated these two bowlers until they finished their 10 overs. Then they went after the less threatening Gough and others, and pulled off the chase. That is the danger of bowling out your best bowlers early, especially before the powerplay.

Posted by TheKeeper on (February 17, 2014, 19:31 GMT)

Mushi said "we can beat any team at home", but when he is presented with a chance to beat SL on a golden platter, he cringes and crumbles and fades-away.

Posted by Fogu on (February 17, 2014, 19:28 GMT)

Even though this was very disappointing, I can see why Mushy thinks it was a good tactic. We dropped several catches after SL was down to 67/8. If we had taken those catches, we would have praised Mushy for good aggressive captaincy. Unfortunately the old adage was proven true yet again; Catches win Matches and we certainly cost ourself the match by displaying terrible fielding. Captains have a difficult job of putting a positive spin on terrible results. They have to be positive regardless otherwise the whole team will be down. That is why you see IN fans lamenting Dhoni when he speaks positively after every defeat. Part and parcel of the responsibility.

Posted by   on (February 17, 2014, 19:10 GMT)

Every captain in Asia are very quick to defend their failure tactics. Angelo Dhoni and now rahim. The other parts if the world captains think of resignation when they lose one series from being number 1 in the world!

Posted by asiacricket1234 on (February 17, 2014, 18:58 GMT)

Mushi you can't use any excuse for the blunder you made on the field. You are a good captain and in recent time we have done well under your captaincy. Our win against NZ proves that but today you let us down. So sort out yourself and the team and ensure that this doesn't happen again. Really frustrated the way you guys perform today. You can still win the series so rather than talking lets get some work done. We have never won series against a Top team like the Lankans. This is our opportunity and you should make the most of it

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